Saturday, 30 June 2007

Chapter 16 - Gold Coast

April 1997, Gold Coast, Australia.

I had left Brisbane to get away from the death threats and the heroin. I had originally left the Gold Coast to get away from the death threats and the steroids, but now I was back, running yet again.

I thought that living with my mum I might be able to kick the habit. She allowed me to stay there while I got my shit together. I was totally honest with her, up to a point.

I could recall the night I called her from Brisbane begging for help. She came up to collect me but I had gone out to see a mate and smoke some cones. When I got back she was waiting for me trying to break in thinking I might have overdosed inside. I could see the fear and desperation in her eyes.

She was nearly hysterical with worry, while I was stoned and rather blasé.

She would even loan me money and give me a lift to go score pot when I was hanging out.

By this time mum had retired from the “rubin n tuggin” and now worked as a taxi driver. She worked hard and was always very generous with me.

It was late at night and I was hanging out, I couldn’t sleep. I switched the TV on and began watching the late movie, it was called Runaway Diary of a Street Kid by Evelyn Lau.

It was about a young girl who ran away from home and became a drug addicted prostitute then got her changed her life and who wrote a book about her journey.

I remember thinking at the time that maybe I could write about my struggle, but it was just a fleeting idea. Ever since I was kid I had wanted to be a writer. When I was ten years old my teacher gave me a thesaurus when I left the school and and wrote “to a budding writer” and I had always wished that it might come true.

On my birthday I caught up with some old friends, Darren and Sharron. I had first met Darren years earlier when we were both bodybuilders on the roids.

Anyway last time I had seen Darren both of us had only been users of pot, but in the intervening years each one had chosen a different road – Darren and Sharron became esctacy and speed bunnies and while I got stuck on heroin.

I went to visit them at the studio that they used for their commercial art business. Darren did air brush art, graphics and ceramics focusing on marine life – dolphins, whales, sting rays. His style was realistic and he did a lot of work for Seaworld.

“Its great to see ya bro, lookin well, its been a while hey?” Darren clasped my hand firmly and they performed a smooth series of hand shakes.

“Yeah sure has lots happened for both of us by the looks of it. You’ve really got it happening with your art man it looks awesome”

“Thanks man, its been a long road but yeah its working well now. Its funny how we got hooked up with eccys and speed, and you got into tha heroin, I mean they are kind of like opposites, I mean really that’s funny hey”, Darren mused.

“Yeah, I guess it is, different drugs for different mugs, hey haha, “

“Grab a coldy mate and we’ll suck down a few hotties. Got some filth shit here man, you been smoking much?”

“Ah yeah same as usual.”

“Good shit?”

“Yeah hydro, but always nice to try something different hey”

They loved drugs and were keen to expand their horizons by trying heroin. I laughed at their naivety but what the hell. I experienced a certain evil pleasure when I introduced a new user to heroin. They started by asking questions, such as

“What’s it like? How does it feel? Have you ever OD’ed? How much does it cost?” They looked at me with rapt attention as I described the process of injecting and the effect that follows.

“Well you feel intoxicated a bit like being drunk, but much clearer, you know, its easy to talk to people, and although you feel confident, you might slur your words, and stagger when you walk. It fills you with a sense of peace, and the initial hit of the smack as it enters your brain is like a warm embrace from a lover, all your troubles dissolve and you feel completely at ease. It makes your nose itch and you go on the ‘nod’, which is like when you fall asleep for a minute you know”

After a few stories they might say, wow I’d like to try some, or where can I get some of that shit. I would then say that I could help them out and if they were still keen they might say “when”. Most people find that there first time is a nerve wracking experience. Will I spew? Am I going to die? Etc. Jeff, my mate from Uni, watched me shoot up on numerous occasions, and then one day he had his first shot and it was all down hill from there.

So we drove to Bris Vegas to score from good old Lee. I rang Lee and arranged to meet him in 45 minutes. We waited at Kangaroo Point, it was late in the afternoon and traffic was busy. Lee turned up right on time in his bright yellow Honda Civic.

I shot up in Darren’s car I couldn’t wait to get back to the Gold Coast. By the time I got to the Coast I was totally wasted, but still eager for another shot.

“Hey Sharron ya want ya shot now? That’s a yes…….OK well come over here and take a seat and I’ll give you a treat! Like that! Haha”

I mixed up the heroin and sucked it up into the syringe. This gear was clear when mixed up; it was only slightly tinged with yellow. Inverting the syringe I depressed the plunger to expel the air bubbles, it looked clear so I prepared to inject Sharon. I placed the syringe on the table and went to get a tourniquet.

I virtually never used a tourniquet; I had large visible veins in both forearms. We used an old sock as a tourniquet it was hard to see her veins, though I had a pretty deft touch and was able to score on the first hit. Unfortunately I had not checked the syringe properly and just as I was about to inject, I noticed that the syringe, was only full of air, I had picked up the wrong pick. I was already wasted and getting sloppy in my work. Luckily I didn’t inject her with air, grabbed the correct syringe and got to work.

As soon as I had injected the heroin, Sharron began to go pale and staggered to the toilet. I could hear her throwing up and she kept wretching for about an hour. Darren seemed OK, he was off his face but didn’t seem so nauseous.

Its funny but when people first use heroin they don’t know what to look for. They are not sure what it is supposed to feel like

I sat on the couch and stared at the TV while Sharron and Darren threw up. I was mildly amused by their state, they could barely walk and were sick as dogs.

Darren and I played the Nintendo with detached fascination.

The phone rang. Darren went to answer the phone while Sharron continued to puke. “Hey Dave its ya mum, she’s got some good news for ya, someone called for ya wanting some work done, something about a needle exchange”

“Darren call the doctor, I’m fucking dying here!”, Sharon shouted from the toilet.

“Hold on babe I’m comin”

“Just call the bloody doctor”

“OK babe”, Darren passed me the phone, and whispered “Hurry up dude she’s freakin out.”

I nodded.

“Hey mum…………………yeah………………………….thats great.”

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